Man threatens witness from jail

A MAN accused of cultivating a drug crop at Bonville last year, allegedly organised for his son to influence a witness in the case from jail.

Raymond John Bridges, 47, this week pleaded guilty to a charge of using violence/ intimidation to unlawfully influence a person.

His son, Michael Raymond Bridges, 25, also appeared in court this week charged with the same offence, while answering to a separate drug matter.

Police will allege that Raymond Bridges organised for his son to visit a Bonville property and pursued a witness in the drug case to give false evidence.

He allegedly did so via several phone calls made from prison, where he was being held awaiting sentence on a charge of cultivating a prohibited drug.

Bridges was arrested after police raided a property on Archville Station Road seizing 44 cannabis plants on September 23, last year.

The hydroponically grown plants were found growing in a detached flat, which Bridges had been permitted to use by the owner of the property.

Acting on the over-the-phone arrangement with his father, Michael Bridges allegedly approached the owner of the property on December 13.

Agreed facts in the case state that he told the man: “Say there is a key up near the flat somewhere and that there were a lot of people coming to the flat.”

He left and came back two minutes later saying: “Help us out or you’re going to be in a lot of trouble, we’ll make your life hell.”

Police were told the threat was made in an aggressive manner, when the man who had been threatened reported the matter to police the next day.

At the time of visiting the property, Michael Bridges was wanted by police for questioning over a separate drug matter.

Officers raided a property he was leasing at Nana Glen on November 13.

They allegedly found a 1.5 metre cannabis plant under artificial lights in one room and a further 11 plants growing in a bedroom.

The court heard he continued to evade police until he was arrested and cautioned at the Coffs Harbour Police Station on February 2.

Both men have pleaded guilty to the charges they are facing while each had a charge of pervert the course of justice dismissed.

Raymond Bridges is currently been held at Kempsey Correctional Centre while his son Michael has appeared in court via audio-visual link from Grafton.

They are set to reappear in Coffs Harbour Local Court for sentencing on July 27.



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